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Original articles  SPORT PSYCHOLOGY 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 September;44(3):300-8

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Gender differences in the pre-competition temporal patterning of anxiety and hormonal responses

Thatcher J. 1, Thatcher R. 1, Dorling D. 2

1 University of Wales Aberystwyth, UK 2 St. Mary’s College Twickenham, UK


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Aim. ­This ­study exam­ined ­gender dif­fer­ences in the pre-com­pe­ti­tion tem­poral pat­terning of anx­iety and hor­monal ­responses.
­Methods. Six ­male and 6 ­female ­field ­hockey ­players com­pleted the mod­i­fied Com­pet­i­tive ­State Anx­iety Inven­tory – 2, ­including ­both inten­sity and direc­tion sub­scales, and pro­vided ­saliva and ­urine sam­ples 24, 2, and 1 ­hour ­prior to com­pe­ti­tion. ­These sam­ples ­were ana­lyzed for cor­tisol, and nor­a­dren­a­line and adren­a­line, respec­tively.
­Results. Two×3 ­repeated meas­ures ­ANOVAs ­revealed sig­nif­i­cant ­gender×time inter­ac­tions for cog­ni­tive and ­somatic anx­iety inten­sity and adren­a­line and nor­a­dren­a­line, but not cor­tisol. ­While ­males’ anx­iety and hor­monal ­responses dem­on­strated no sig­nif­i­cant ­changes, sig­nif­i­cant ­increases in ­females’ anx­iety, and sig­nif­i­cant ­decreases in ­their adren­a­line and nor­a­dren­a­line ­were ­observed ­over ­time. More­over, ­while ­males’ anx­iety and hor­monal ­responses mir­rored ­each ­other, ­this was not the ­case for the ­females ­with ­increases in ­females’ cog­ni­tive and ­somatic anx­iety inten­sity ­levels accom­pa­nied by ­decreases in adren­a­line and nor­a­dren­a­line.
Con­clu­sion. ­Although ­this ­study has ­extended ­this ­line of ­research by ­adopting a ­psycho-phys­io­log­ical ­approach and meas­uring anx­iety inten­sity and direc­tion in ­male and ­female ath­letes, rep­li­ca­tion is ­required ­with ­larger sam­ples ­from a ­greater diver­sity of ­sports.

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